37 die as trains collide near Mukerian
Mansar (Mukerian), December 14
The Jammu Tawi Express coming from Jammu and the DMU Jalandhar-Amritsar passenger train coming from Jalandhar collided head-on at 11.45 am. Due to the impact of the collision two coaches of the DMU passenger train and one coach of the Jammu Tawi Express derailed and overturned. Besides, the engines of both trains were reduced to rubble due to impact of the collision.
The collision led to the death of 36 passengers and left 50 injured, few of them in a critical condition. Fortunately, the driver of the Jammu Tawi Express Harjinder, survived the accident. He received multiple fracture injuries in his legs. Trappped inside the mangles of the engine, he was pulled out by Army paramedical personnel. But the rest of the engine staff of both trains could not survive.
The sources said the accident was allegedly caused due to a human error. Both trains received clearance tokens from Bangala and Mansar stations. But due to a fault in the telephone line the signalmen of both the sides failed to inform each other about the trains approaching from opposite directions.
Generally both the trains crossed each other at Mirthal crossing, about 20 km from Pathankot. Though the DMU train was on schedule, the Tawi Jammu Express crossed the Mirthal crossing earlier.
Villagers of Mansar were the first come to the rescue of the injured passengers. They said they had heard a loud impact of the collision. The passengers were crying for help when they approached the accident site. Villagers dragged out the survivors asking for help from the mangled remains of the coaches and provided them first aid.
The district administrations of Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur summoned help of the Army for rescue operations. Major-Gen A.N. Aul from Mammon Cantonment supervised the rescue operations.
The injured were shifted to the Mukerian and Dasuya Civil Hospitals.
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, along with his cabinet colleagues, Mr Ramesh Dogra, Health Minister, and Mr Kewal Krishan, Vidhan Sabha Speaker, visited the injured in Mukerian hospital. Later, they also visited the spot.
While talking to mediapersons at Mukerian, the Chief Minister announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh each for the kin of the deceased and Rs 25,000 each to the injured. He also announced that all injured would be given free treatment and arrangements would be made by the government to transfer the injured and the bodies to their respective places.
The Railway Minister, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, also visited the site. He announced an immediate grant of Rs 1.15 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 15,000 each to the injured. He said that an additional grant of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of deceased would be given later. Mr Laloo Prasad also promised government job to one dependent of each deceased.
Taking the Railways authorities to task, Mr Laloo Prasad said, It was not an accident but a murder. The list of the injured admitted at Dasuya Civil Hospital Raj Kumar (39) of Chamba, Hem Raj (26) of Kathua, Chaman Lal (22) of Chamba, Bikram (25) of Jalandhar, Manu (19) of Jalandhar, Garish Kumar (21) of Gujarat, Amar Singh (40) of Gurdaspur, Shama (7) of Gurdaspur, Subhash Chander (21) of Mukerian, Paramjit (42) of Jalandhar, Mukesh (38) of Jalandhar, Cheltan (25) of Kolkata.
List of the dead at Dasuya mortuary Of the 24 bodies lying at Dasuya mortuary, 11 were identified till late in the evening. The total included 12 men, 10 women and two kids. Those identified: Jagdish Chand, CRPF jawan of Kangra, Jila Ram of Pathankot, Pawan Kumar of Pathankot, Bholi Devi of Pathankot, Anant of Bhangal village, Neelamjit of Pathankot, Baljinder of Pathankot, Harpreet of Pathankot, Dilbagh Singh of Tanda, Ashok Singh of West Bengal, Avtar Singh, DMU driver.
List of the five out of 10 bodies identified at Mukerian mortuary: Rajesh (5) of Dana Mandi, Mukerian, Kewal Singh (39) of Tanda, Madan Lal (30) of Mohatur in Mukerian, Dhyan Chand (60) box porter of railways, Asrool Khanna of Bihar.
Those injured at Mukerian Civil Hospital:
Narayan of Orissa, Sehraj of jalandhar, Mukesh Kumar of Jalandhar, Charanjit of Shahur Kandi, Chahan Mundal of Bhangal village, Monu of Jalandhar, Hansraj of Bodra village, Raju of Jalandhar, Kusum of Gurdasur, Amar Singh of Katoli village of Chamba, Shama of Katoli village of Chamba, Jyoti Bala of Katoli village of Chamba, Subash Chand of Lohgarh, Chaman Lal of Chamba, Vikram Singh of Jalandhar, Sunny of Pathankot, Rohit of Jammu, Mehboob of Jalandhar, Om Parkash of Mukerian, Raj Kumar of Chamba, Nanan of Orissa, Sarav of Jalandhar, Mandeep Singh, Girish of Dasuya, Baldev Singh of Pathankot, Paramjit Singh of Jalandhar, Vikram of Dasuya, Laxmi of Chamba, Umia (7) of Pathankot, Akhilesh of Mukerian, Satnam Singh, Kewal Krishen of Mukerian, Ashok Kumar of Jalandhar, Harjinder of Jammu.